Encryption service ‘linked to cyber attacks’ taken down in international sting

18 January 2022, 11:04

LabVPN is no longer available for use after an international law enforcement operation shut it down
LabVPN is no longer available for use after an international law enforcement operation shut it down. Picture: PA

The National Crime Agency said that LabVPN was used by criminals linked to a number of attacks on UK businesses.

An encryption service used by cyber attackers to remain anonymous online has been shut down in an international operation involving the UK National Crime Agency.

Fifteen server infrastructures were shut down on Monday in an operation led by German police to take down LabVPN.

The NCA said that the network was used by criminals connected to cyber attacks that “have caused significant economic harm to UK businesses”, but would not say which ones while investigations are ongoing.

Set up in 2008, LabVPN offered virtual private network services via the dark web for around 60 US dollars per year.

The system allowed users to conceal their identity, including criminals who wanted to evade capture.

According to the NCA, its use was linked to ransomware campaigns – where hackers lock access to a user’s information until they pay a ransom.

John Denley, deputy director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Cybercriminals using LabVPN clearly thought they could operate with impunity, and remain under the radar of law enforcement.

“This operation shows they were wrong and that there is no hiding place from the combined power of  global law enforcement when it comes to taking down illegal IT infrastructure. This included the NCA switching off servers which were being hosted in the UK.

“We continue to work closely with international partners to bolster our capability to respond to this national security threat and strengthen the UK’s response to cyber crime.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Glastonbury Festival 2019

EE expects Glastonbury data usage to double at this year’s festival

Ford geofencing technology

Ford trials geofencing tech to automatically control vehicle speed

The Duomo in Milan on Google Street View

Google Street View’s ‘time travel’ feature comes to smartphones

Facebook

Facebook and Instagram to reveal more on how ads target users

Mark Zuckerberg

Washington sues Mark Zuckerberg over Cambridge Analytica privacy breach

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones

More powerful cameras key to smartphone success, says Google manager

An underwater drone on a ship deck

Underwater drone carries out first-ever offshore wind farm inspection

Child uses laptop

Create watchdog to protect children online, charity says

Technology Stock

Dark web ‘scramble’ over Buffalo attack amid fears of post-pandemic attacks

Technology stock

Twitter users told to be wary of scam messages about verified accounts

Computer virus stock

Scientists create tool to kill cyber attacks in ‘less than a second’

Attorney General Suella Braverman

International law should be applied to cyberspace, Attorney General to say

Games console controller

Gaming sector in Scotland needs UK-wide network to thrive, report warns

Sir Nick Clegg

Sir Nick Clegg says the metaverse is coming ‘one way or another’

A child at a computer

Online Safety Bill fails to stop violence against women and girls, experts warn

Coders race to take part in Robot Dog Olympics

Coders take part in Robot Dog Olympics to help develop tech solutions for Army